When capturing a snapshot of everyday scenes in street photography, the key is to blend in with the surroundings, observe the subject from a variety of perspectives, and express how you feel through your photographs. The EOS 80D is one camera that is equipped with functions perfect for such street photography. In this article, I will introduce some useful shooting techniques to try with this camera. (Photo & text by: Kazuo Nakahara)
Use the white balance (WB) correction function to capture a striking image of the clear, blue sky
When taking street photographs to express how you feel, there is no rule that says you have to reproduce the scenery as is, so it can also be interesting to change the colours to suit your preferences according to the scene and subject.
I would recommend shooting with the highly precise Auto White Balance (AWB) function on the EOS 80D as a starting point. You can then go on to use the WB Shift/Bracketing function to fine tune the white balance and change the colour of the photo to your preference.
It’s easy to adjust the colour tone between blue (B) and amber (A) on the B-A axis, and between green (G) and magenta (M) on the G-M axis. First, determine whether the colour temperature is colder (more blue) or warmer (more amber) on the B-A axis, then adjust the colour on the G-M axis to easily create a characteristic colour tone. Green can create a nostalgic and refreshing atmosphere while magenta can project a calmness along with a sombre mood.
Fine adjustments can be made to the white balance
Select [WB Shift/BKT.] from Shooting Menu 2 to display the WB correction screen. With WB correction, the white balance can be adjusted to one of nine levels with the B-A axis and G-M axis. Combining these 2 axes gives you a total of 360 possible colour variations from the starting WB. Here, I adjusted the WB to “B3” and “G7”.
EF-S15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM/15mm(24mm equivalent)/Aperture Priority AE (f/10, 1/160 sec, EV＋0.7)/ISO 100/WB: Auto
In order to emphasize the blueness of the sky, I set the scale to “B3” with the white balance correction, and then to “G7” to create a retro feel. The resulting shot has a colour tone that evokes a sense of nostalgia. Since the shot was taken with a pan focus, I first selected Zone AF, which allowed me to quickly focus on the objects in the background to the centre of the scene, and then carefully used One-Shot AF to take the picture.
Use different aspect ratios to draw out the unique appeal of each of your subjects
The EOS 80D has a default aspect ratio of 3:2, making it easy to focus on any subject in both the horizontal and vertical directions. However, it is easier to express your own view of the world in photographs if you shoot with different aspect ratios depending on the subject and scene. I would also recommend that you try shooting various scenes with different aspect ratios.
Apart from 3:2, there are 3 other aspect ratios available, namely 4:3, 16:9 and 1:1. If you use the menu button to set the aspect ratio, a grid appears in the viewfinder according to the aspect ratio set, making it very convenient to use. Of course, you will also be able to preview the shot in the aspect ratio set if you’re shooting in Live View. It is also possible to adjust the aspect ratio on the camera after the picture is taken.
EOS 80D/ EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM/ FL: 42mm (67mm equivalent)/Aperture Priority AE (f/5.6, 1/800 sec, EV-0.3)/ISO 100/WB: Auto
Using an aspect ratio of 1:1 boldly cuts out the area in the shadow on the left side of the building, which makes the image more compact. This, together with the contrast between the blue sky and brown bricks, results in an impressive finishing. Because the subject was a stationary building, I aimed for a single shot with One-Shot AF. For the AF Area Selection Mode, I used Zone AF and focused on the wall in front.
Superimpose a Creative filter to create an unusual colour tone
Like WB correction, a Creative filter can change the visual impression of a photo tremendously. A total of 7 types of individual effects are available on the EOS 80D, allowing you to capture the scenery before you in a variety of looks. If you are recording your images in JPEG format, it is also possible to preview the actual effect in Live View before you press the shutter button. Furthermore, the range of expressions is infinitely expanded as you can superimpose various effects onto the image using the camera after the photo is taken. It could be interesting to discover your own unique overall filter effect by superimposing various effects onto the image. However, do note that HDR filters such as HDR art standard etc., cannot be superimposed onto an image after it has been taken.
Effects can be added to captured images
If an image has already been taken, the Creative filters can be set from the Playback menu. You can take your time to choose an effect that suits the photo from among the 7 types of effects available.
EOS 80D/ EF-S15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM/ FL: 24mm (38mm equivalent)/Shutter Priority AE (f/22, 1/13 sec, EV-1.0)/ISO 100/WB: Auto
By superimposing an Art bold effect onto the Toy camera effect, I managed to obtain an original effect that brought out the lively colours while giving the image a retro feel. I used the high speed continuous shooting mode so as to capture the movements of the people. The human subjects would appear blurred so I took the shot while adjusting the focus on the store in the background with One-Shot AF + Single-point AF.
Let's see what a Creative filter can do
Due partly to the fact that the picture was taken in the shade, this picture, taken without any filters and effects, appears weak and seems to be lacking something.
Toy camera effect
Compared to the normal shot, there is a significant drop in the light around the four corners of the photograph, creating an impressive ambience that evokes a sense of age.
By superimposing other effects onto an image that has already had a Creative filter applied, you can create your own unique look. Why not get started and find a look of your own?
Born in Hokkaido in 1982, Nakahara turned to photography after working at a chemical manufacturing company. He majored in photography at the Vantan Design Institute and is a lecturer for photography workshops and seminars, in addition to working in commercial photography. He is also a representative of the photography information website studio9.
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